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A trip through an instrument factory in Elkhorn, 1920

A trip through the Holton Factory


The Frank Holton Company of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, is the oldest continually operating wind instrument company in the United States. Formerly the first trombonist in John Phillip Sousa's band, Frank Holton opened an instrument shop in Chicago in 1898. Holton's initial success came from his formula for trombone slide-oil, but he soon began experimenting with instrument design. The company continued to expand, producing several models of brasswinds, as well as percussion instruments, and in 1918, Holton moved his company to Elkorn. This booklet describes the company's history, the layout of the factory, and the instruments produced by Holton. In 1964, the Holton Co. was bought by Leblanc, a division of Conn-Selmer, which is itself a subsidary of Steinway Musical Instruments Inc. In 2008, the company archives were donated to the National Music Museum at the Univ. of South Dakota, who may be able to answer questions about specific Holton instruments.

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Related Topics: Industrialization and Urbanization
The Rise of Skilled Manufacturing
Creator: Frank Holton and Co.
Pub Data: Elkhorn, Wis.: Frank Holton and Co., 1920. (pamphlet 56-4071)
Citation: "A trip through the Holton Factory." (Elkhorn, Wis.: Frank Holton and Co., 1920); Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1211; Visited on: 4/24/2014
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